Technology archive for 2016-06-09

Thomas Perkins, co-founder of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, dies at 84 (Pui-Wing Tam/New York Times)

(3 years ago)
Pui-Wing Tam / New York Times:Thomas Perkins, co-founder of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, dies at 84  —  Thomas J. Perkins, who nurtured Silicon Valley's venture capital industry into a force that helped foster the growth of companies like Google and Amazon, died Tuesday night at his home in Tiburon, Calif. He was 84.

Oklahoma State Troopers Use New Device To Seize Bank Accounts During Traffic Stops

(3 years ago)
mi writes from a report via news9.com KWTV: KWTV writes, "You may have heard of civil asset forfeiture. That's where police can seize your property and cash without first proving you committed a crime; without a warrant and without arresting you, as long as they suspect that your property is somehow tied to a crime. Now, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol has a device that also allows them to seize money in your bank account or on prepaid cards. If a trooper suspects you may have money tied to some type of crime, the highway patrol can scan any cards you have and seize the money." But do not worry: "If you can prove that you have a legitimate reason to have that money it will be given back to you. And we've done that in the past," said Oklahoma Highway Patrol Lt. John Vincent. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Parents Are Worried the Amazon Echo Is Conditioning Their Kids To Be Rude

(3 years ago)
Quartz has a story today in which it documents several concerns from parents that Amazon Echo (and perhaps other AI-powered devices) is conditioning the kids of this generation to be rude. "How?" You ask. For one, unlike a human parent who gets annoyed listening to the same question numerous times, Amazon Echo doesn't mind that. From the report: "I've found my kids pushing the virtual assistant further than they would push a human," says Avi Greengart, a tech analyst and father of five who lives in Teaneck, New Jersey. "[Alexa] never says 'That was rude' or 'I'm tired of you asking me the same question over and over again.'" Perhaps she should, he thinks. "One of the responsibilities of parents is to teach your kids social graces," says Greengart, "and this is a box you speak to as if it were a person who does not require social graces." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Lenovo announces flagship phones, the Moto Z and the Moto Z Force, with snap-on accessories like speakers and batteries, that attach via magnets (Dan Seifert/The Verge)

(3 years ago)
Dan Seifert / The Verge:Lenovo announces flagship phones, the Moto Z and the Moto Z Force, with snap-on accessories like speakers and batteries, that attach via magnets  —  If LG and Google's Ara didn't get you excited about modularized smartphones, perhaps Lenovo's new Moto Z line will.

Drivers sue Uber, Lyft over exit from Austin, Texas

(3 years ago)
(Reuters) - Former Uber Technologies Inc and Lyft Inc drivers in Austin, Texas, on Thursday accused the ride-hailing companies of breaking a federal law by abruptly halting operations in the city after voters backed a measure requiring them to fingerprint drivers.

Twitter's Fabric development suite adds DAU, MAU, and retention metrics to its mobile app (Meekal Bajaj/Fabric Blog)

(3 years ago)
Meekal Bajaj / Fabric Blog:Twitter's Fabric development suite adds DAU, MAU, and retention metrics to its mobile app  —  Just a few months ago, we launched the Fabric mobile app so you always have visibility into your app's stability and usage even on the go.  Since then, many of you have requested more functionality within …

A Solution To the Security Guidelines Proposed By FCC For Home Routers

(3 years ago)
An anonymous reader writes: Back in March 2015, the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a security document that included a series of provisions related to the use of wireless devices. In order to comply with these security guidelines, some manufacturers of home routers and other networking equipment decided to lock down the software powering these devices. This caused an outcry from the open source community who demanded that the FCC and manufacturers would not restrict the free use of the operating system and associated software running on their devices. Now Imagination Technologies is presenting a proof of concept demonstration that addresses the next-generation security requirements mandated by the FCC and other similar agencies. The demo makes use of a feature of MIPS Warrior CPUs called multi-domain, secure hardware virtualization. This technology allows developers to create system-wide, hardware-enforced trusted environments that are much secure compared to current solutions. The platform used for the demonstration runs three virtual machines (VMs) on a MIPS P-class CPU integrated in a router-type evaluation kit; this approach securely separates the OpenWrt operating system from the Wi-Fi driver, allowing them to co-exist in isolation and thus comply with the FCC guidelines.Ars Technica has more details.[..]

Pilot Test Of Storing Carbon Dioxide In Rocks Shows Impressive Outcome

(3 years ago)
For years we have been trying to find different ways to limit carbon dioxide produced from fossil fuels. Some researchers believe that things would be very convenient if we could just deposit carbon dioxide in rocks. A pilot project around this idea has shown an impressive result. John Ross, reporting for the Australian: Scientists say they have demonstrated a foolproof way of sequestering atmospheric carbon dioxide -- turning it into rock. An international team of researchers says it has demonstrated for the first time that CO2 can be permanently locked away from the atmosphere by injecting it into volcanic bedrock. The study, reported this morning in the journal Science, could overcome the leakage problems that have plagued attempts to bury CO2 gas underground. Lead author Juerg Matter said between 95 per cent and 98 per cent of the injected CO2 had been mineralised in less than two years, "which is amazingly fast.""Until now it was thought this process would take hundreds to thousands of years," University of Southampton, which led the new study, said in a statement. "The current study has demonstrated that it can take as little as two years." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Google co-founder Page backing two start-ups making flying cars: Bloomberg

(3 years ago)
(Reuters) - Google co-founder Larry Page is backing two start-ups that are working on flying cars, including funding one of them with more than $100 million so far, Bloomberg said on Thursday, citing sources.

Google co-founder Page backing two start-ups making flying cars: Bloomberg

(3 years ago)
(Reuters) - Google co-founder Larry Page is backing two start-ups that are working on flying cars, including funding one of them with more than $100 million so far, Bloomberg said on Thursday, citing sources.

Microsoft Has Created Its Own FreeBSD

(3 years ago)
Simon Sharwood, writing for The Register: Microsoft has published its own distribution of FreeBSD 10.3 in order to make the OS available and supported in Azure. Jason Anderson, principal PM manager at Microsoft's Open Source Technology Center says Redmond "took on the work of building, testing, releasing and maintaining the image" so it could "ensure our customers have an enterprise SLA for their FreeBSD VMs running in Azure". Microsoft did so "to remove that burden" from the FreeBSD Foundation, which relies on community contributions. Redmond is not keeping its work on FreeBSD to itself: Anderson says "the majority of the investments we make at the kernel level to enable network and storage performance were up-streamed into the FreeBSD 10.3 release, so anyone who downloads a FreeBSD 10.3 image from the FreeBSD Foundation will get those investments from Microsoft built in to the OS." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Google's Nearby Feature Recommends Apps and Websites Based On Your Location

(3 years ago)
Google on Thursday announced Nearby, a new feature for Android devices that recommends apps and websites based on your physical location. The idea is simple: You're on the go and there is an app that might be useful to you but you don't know it exists. Nearby will let you know about such apps. The company writes in a blog post: To use Nearby, just turn on Bluetooth and Location, and we'll show you a notification if a nearby app or website is available. Once you've opted-in, tapping on a notification takes you straight into the intended experience. If you're not interested, just swipe it away to give us a clear signal.Nearby has started rolling out to users as part of the upcoming Google Play Services release and will work on Android 4.4 (KitKat) and above.If you're a developer, Google has published another blog post to help you get started. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Tinder Bans Most Teens

(3 years ago)
Tinder says it will stop allowing users aged 13 to 17 to use its app starting next week. The dating app has allowed users in the aforementioned age range to match within their age group since 2012. Gizmodo reports: The change makes sense given Tinder's status as a hookup app, its features that make it easier to find orgies, and various age-of-consent laws that could potentially land the company in hot water if anything involving a minor goes wrong. It likely won't be too hard to get around the restriction, and might just involve changing your birthday on Facebook. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Maru OS Exits Private Beta, Lets You Use an Android Phone As a Linux Desktop

(3 years ago)
Maru OS has exited beta, and is now available to anyone who wants to give it a try. For those unaware, Maru OS offers a platform that runs Android as well as Debian Linux on a smartphone. When you connect a Maru OS-powered smartphone to an external display, you get "full-fledged Linux desktop environment." Maru OS was unveiled in February, and currently supports only one smartphone: Nexus 5. The developers behind it have also started to work on making the project open source. They hope that doing this will help them support other devices as well. Brad Linger, writes for Liliputing: Work has also begun on making Maru OS an open source project, which could allow additional developers to contribute to the project or port it to run on other phones, although the current version of the Maru OS does require phones that support HDMI via MHL or SlimPort, which means not all phones will be able to run the software unless wireless display support is added in the future. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Russian watchdog says not discussing settlement with Google yet

(3 years ago)
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Alphabet Inc's Google has not yet approached Russia's competition watchdog FAS about a settlement of the case in which the U.S. firm was found to be in breach of antitrust laws, FAS head Igor Artemyev said on Thursday.

BlackBerry Hands Over User Data To Help Police 'Kick Ass,' Insider Says

(3 years ago)
Reader Dr Caleb writes: A specialized unit inside mobile firm BlackBerry has for years enthusiastically helped intercept user data -- including BBM messages -- to help in hundreds of police investigations in dozens of countries, a CBC News investigation reveals. For instance, citing a number of sources, CBC says that BlackBerry intercepted messages to aid investigators probing the political scandals in Brazil that are dogging suspended President Dilma Rousseff. The company also helped authenticate BBM messages in Major League Baseball's drug investigation that saw New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez suspended in 2014. One document obtained by CBC News reveals how the Waterloo, Ont.-based company handles requests for information and co-operates with foreign law enforcement and government agencies, in stark contrast with many other tech companies. "We were helping law enforcement kick ass," said one person. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Russian watchdog says not discussing settlement with Google yet

(3 years ago)
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Alphabet Inc's Google has not yet approached Russia's competition watchdog FAS about a settlement of the case in which the U.S. firm was found to be in breach of antitrust laws, FAS head Igor Artemyev said on Thursday.

French court fines Uber, execs for illegal taxi service

(3 years ago)
PARIS (Reuters) - A French court fined Uber Technologies [UBER.UL] 800,000 euros ($907,000) on Thursday for running an illegal taxi service with non-professional drivers and slapped smaller fines on two of its executives in the first such criminal case in Europe.

No definitive answer in probe of $81 million Bangladesh cyber heist: FBI

(3 years ago)
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation is working quickly to figure out who perpetrated the cyber heist of $81 million from Bangladesh Bank's account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in February, but there are no definitive answers yet, a top FBI official said on Thursday.

German court upholds ban of unlicensed Uber taxi service

(3 years ago)
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - A court on Thursday upheld Germany's ban on low-cost ride-hailing service UberPOP, in a further setback for Uber Technologies [UBER.UL] which faces legal battles throughout Europe.

No definitive answer in probe of $81 million Bangladesh cyber heist: FBI

(3 years ago)
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation is working quickly to figure out who perpetrated the cyber heist of $81 million from Bangladesh Bank's account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in February, but there are no definitive answers yet, a top FBI official said on Thursday.

Tinder discontinues service for users under 18 (Jordan Crook/TechCrunch)

(3 years ago)
Jordan Crook / TechCrunch:Tinder discontinues service for users under 18  —  Tinder is discontinuing use of the app for everyone under the age of 18 starting next week, according to a statement from Tinder VP of Communications Rosette Pambakian.  —  The dating app has allowed everyone 13 years of age or older to use the app since it launched back in 2012.

Verizon's bid for Yahoo's web assets topped by others: source

(3 years ago)
(Reuters) - Verizon Communications Inc did not submit the highest offer this week in the second round of bidding for Yahoo Inc's core internet assets, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Larry Page Is Secretly Working On a Flying Car

(3 years ago)
Google co-founder Larry Page is personally investing in flying cars. Page has been secretly bankrolling Zee.Aero and Kitty Hawk, two California-based startups working on developing a flying car, reports Bloomberg, citing 10 people familiar with the matter. From the report: Better materials, autonomous navigation systems, and other technical advances have convinced a growing body of smart, wealthy, and apparently serious people that within the next few years we'll have a self-flying car that takes off and lands vertically -- or at least a small, electric, mostly autonomous commuter plane. About a dozen companies around the world, including startups and giant aerospace manufacturers, are working on prototypes. Furthest along, it appears, are the companies Page is quietly funding. "Over the past five years, there have been these tremendous advances in the underlying technology," says Mark Moore, an aeronautical engineer who's spent his career designing advanced aircraft at NASA. "What appears in the next 5 to 10 years will be incredible." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Verizon's bid for Yahoo's web assets topped by others: source

(3 years ago)
(Reuters) - Verizon Communications Inc did not submit the highest offer this week in the second round of bidding for Yahoo Inc's core internet assets, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Ubuntu 16.10 To Be Powered By Linux Kernel 4.8

(3 years ago)
Reader prisoninmate shares a Softpedia report: We've been monitoring the Ubuntu 16.10 development cycle for quite some time now to see what Linux kernel version the upcoming GNU/Linux operating system will be based on, and for now, it remains powered by the same kernel packages as Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus). Also, it looks like Ubuntu 16.10 has been switched to a universal local DNS resolver service. However, the Ubuntu Kernel Team published the other day a new installation of their weekly newsletter, informing the community that Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) would soon be rebased on the latest stable Linux 4.6 kernels. Then, it will move to the Release Candidate builds of Linux kernel 4.7, and after that, the operating system will finally be switched to Linux kernel 4.8. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Disadvantaged Students Stay In College If They're Told Everyone Struggles

(3 years ago)
An anonymous reader shares an Ars Technica report: Lower-income and minority college students often have trouble sticking with higher education. But past studies have indicated they would be less likely to drop out of school if they receive appropriate counseling once they start experiencing academic problems. A new study published in PNAS demonstrates that if students receive this kind of intervention prior to college enrollment and during their first year at college, they are more likely to avoid having academic trouble in the first place. And the counseling can be done over the Internet. The counseling involves letting students know that it is common for students to struggle with the transition to college and that this transition will get easier with time. This is known as a "lay theory intervention." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

France fines Uber $900,000 over 'illegal' UberPop service, 2 execs spared jail (Paul Sawers/VentureBeat)

(3 years ago)
Paul Sawers / VentureBeat:France fines Uber $900,000 over ‘illegal’ UberPop service, 2 execs spared jail  —  A French criminal court has finally reached a verdict in the long-running case against Uber that accused it of running an illegal transport service.  —  A court in Paris has ruled that Uber must pay a €800,000 fine …

German court upholds ban of unlicensed Uber taxi service

(3 years ago)
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - A German court on Thursday upheld the country's ban of ride-hailing app UberPOP, which offers taxi services by unlicensed cab drivers, in a further setback for the online firm which faces uphill legal battles throughout Europe.

Google Matches Apple's Plan To Give Developers A Bigger Cut of The Revenue

(3 years ago)
An anonymous reader writes from a report via Recode: Apple announced a new revenue sharing model on Wednesday that would give developers more money when users subscribe to a service via their apps. Instead of keeping 70 percent of all revenue generated from subscriptions, publishers will be able to keep 85 percent of revenue, once a subscriber has been paying for a year. Google has decided to match Apple's latest offering. It too will move from a 70/30 split to a 85/15 split for subscriptions. However, instead of requiring developers to hook a subscriber for 12 months before offering the better split, it will make it available right away. Sources have said Google has been testing the new model over a year ago with video services in a way to get Play subscriptions to work with its TV streaming offerings like the Chromecast. Google has yet to announce when their new pricing plan will roll out. In other Google and Apple related news, Google's AI 'TensorFlow' software is coming to iOS to allow the iPhone to be able to run more sophisticated apps. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

French court fines Uber, executives for running illegal service

(3 years ago)
PARIS (Reuters) - Ride-hailing service Uber Technologies [UBER.UL] and two of its executives were fined by a French court on Wednesday for running an illegal transport service using non-professional drivers.

Kenya's Safaricom to launch local rival to Uber

(3 years ago)
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya's biggest telecoms company Safaricom is joining up with a local software firm to launch a ride-hailing company to take on Uber [UBER.UL] as it seeks new sources of revenue, its chief executive said.

Rocket Internet targets 25-40 percent sales growth

(3 years ago)
BERLIN (Reuters) - German ecommerce investor Rocket Internet expects its main start-ups to grow sales at an average of 25 to 40 percent in coming years even as it puts a new focus on improving profitability, its founder told shareholders on Thursday.

Lending Club website goes down, cites data center outage

(3 years ago)
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The website for LendingClub Corp, the online lending company which recently said an internal probe found it had falsified documentation when selling loans to an investor, went down Wednesday afternoon.

Founding family considers increasing stake in Ubisoft: Le Monde

(3 years ago)
PARIS (Reuters) - The Guillemot family is considering increasing its stake in French video games maker Ubisoft, using proceeds of the sale of its shares in Gameloft to fend off Vivendi, Ubisoft Chief Executive Officer Yves Guillemot told daily Le Monde in an interview published on Thursday.
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